Tagged: Desktop Computer

Think Before You Send: Communications to an Attorney Using Work Email May Not Be Protected Under the Attorney-Client Privilege 0

Think Before You Send: Communications to an Attorney Using Work Email May Not Be Protected Under the Attorney-Client Privilege

Generally, a confidential email sent to one’s personal attorney is protected under the attorney-client privilege. But what if the communication is sent using a business email account? Will a corporate policy entitling the company to access “all communications” sent on work computers undermine the privilege? Followers of this blog will recall, among other posts, our detailed recap of the extensive discussion of this issue at our Annual E-Discovery Conference in the wake of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., upholding the privilege where the employee used a company computer to communicate with her attorney via a personal password-protected internet based e-mail account, and sanctioning the employer’s attorneys for failing to turn over the protected communications. Readers may also recall our discussion of US v. Hamilton, where the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a husband waived the marital communications privilege when he sent messages from his work email account to his wife, but took no steps to protect their sanctity. Since those decisions, courts nationwide have continued to wrestle with these issues. Most recently, a Delaware Court held an employee waived the attorney client privilege where he used his work email account to email his lawyer with knowledge of the company’s policy establishing its right to access all communications on work computers.

Orbit One: Inadequate ESI Preservation Does Not Merit Sanctions Absent Evidence That Relevant Information Has Been Destroyed 0

Orbit One: Inadequate ESI Preservation Does Not Merit Sanctions Absent Evidence That Relevant Information Has Been Destroyed

Orbit One Communications, Inc. v. Numerex Corp., 2010 WL 4615547 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 26, 2010) represents a dichotomy in jurisprudence on ESI preservation efforts and the imposition of automatic sanctions. In Orbit One, Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, IV found that regardless of how inadequate a litigant’s preservation efforts may be, sanctions are not appropriate without proof that “information of significance” has been lost. The court determined that the threshold determination must be “whether any material that has been destroyed was likely relevant even for purposes of discovery.” In so holding, the court discussed and diverged from Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s decision in Pension Committee of the University of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of America Securities, LLC, which earlier held that sanctions may be warranted for inadequate preservation efforts even if no relevant evidence is lost. 685 F. Supp.2d 456, 465 (S.D.N.Y. 2010).

You Want Discovery of an Adversary’s Computer? Better Have a Good Reason. 0

You Want Discovery of an Adversary’s Computer? Better Have a Good Reason.

That was the lesson of a recent case out of the New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, where the court refused to order a forensic examination of a plaintiff’s personal computer hard drive. DeRiggi v. Krischen arose out of the death of a woman during a routine surgical procedure to treat lower back pain. Plaintiffs alleged that her death was the result of perforation of the left common iliac vein by a “Spine Jet HydroDisectomy” system utilized during the procedure. Plaintiffs further alleged, among other things, that the manufacturer of the system misrepresented the risks affiliated with its use, and one of the plaintiffs, the decedent’s husband, testified at deposition that he and his wife visited the manufacturer’s website prior to the surgery and read that the procedure “felt like a bee sting and nothing more.”

Internet File Sharing Constitutes Distribution in Child Porn Case 0

Internet File Sharing Constitutes Distribution in Child Porn Case

New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently held in State v. Lyons, __ N.J. Super. __, 2010 N.J. Super. LEXIS 227 (App. Div. Nov. 30, 2010) that Defendant Richard Lyons’ placement of child pornography in a shared online folder constituted an offer and distribution of child pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a). Lyons’ computers contained videos of children engaged in sexual activities, including one that a detective discovered and downloaded when he accessed a shared folder on Gnutella, a peer-to-peer file sharing network, accessible via LimeWire software program.